Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

eScience & Technical Computing - Web Services and Scientific Research

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Virtual Earth / Live Maps: beautiful 3D images of Niagara Falls

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    Check out the beautiful VE imagery of Niagara Falls, I ran across it on the VE blog...especially check out the interactive 3D version...you can even image using this to go "over the falls in barrel".

    image

    To appreciate this beautiful image of Niagara Falls we don't need to be aware of the image processing that went into creating it:

    1. UltraCam is flown and captures the imagery with a prescribed set of overlap
    2. Pre ortho processing - ingest formatting, pan-sharpening (mutispectral brought to panchromatic resolution), radiometric normalization (images brought to similar spectral range)
    3. Orthorectification (surface and camera distortions removed from imagery and images are geographically referenced to a coordinate system)
    4. Orthomosaic (individual ortho images seamed and color balanced together)
    5. Final radiometric look up table (final spectral adjustment applied to entire mosaic)

    Virtual Earth / Live Maps: Does Microsoft Cork the Bat in Virtual Earth?

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Math and equations in Office

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    Microsoft_Office_2007_Equation_Editor[1]

    One of the most hidden features in Word 2007 is the equation editor – it allows you to input equations using the linear format and the equations that are generated are truly visualizing appealing. 

    There are some videos showing the use of equation editor, but I just see that Murray Sargent is the “star” in a new video walking through some complex equations and showing some of the other formatting/alignment features that are included. 

    Silverlight version of Video 

    Word 2007 Math Overview
    Murray Sargent: Math in Office
  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    [Paper] Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry

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    Great to see this paper on Quantum Dots in Nature Protocols by May Wang and Shuming Nie...along w/ the other authors from GaTech and Emory.

    I've been tracking their work and it really seems promising on helping to get to the goal of personalized medicine. 

    Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry

    Abstract

    Bioconjugated quantum dots (QDs) provide a new class of biological labels for evaluating biomolecular signatures (biomarkers) on intact cells and tissue specimens. In particular, the use ofQDs multicolor QD probes in immunohistochemistry is considered one of the most important and clinically relevant applications. At present, however, clinical applications of QD-based immunohistochemistry have achieved only limited success. A major bottleneck is the lack of robust protocols to define the key parameters and steps. Here, we describe our recent experience, preliminary results and detailed protocols for QD–antibody conjugation, tissue specimen preparation, multicolor QD staining, image processing and biomarker quantification. The results demonstrate that bioconjugated QDs can be used for multiplexed profiling of molecular biomarkers, and ultimately for correlation with disease progression and response to therapy. In general, QD bioconjugation is completed within 1 day, and multiplexed molecular profiling takes 1–3 days depending on the number of biomarkers and QD probes used.

    Source: Bioconjugated quantum dots for multiplexed and quantitative immunohistochemistry : Abstract : Nature Protocols

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Giano simulator download available

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    Just heard that Sandro and team have released the Giano simuator - find it off of http://research.microsoft.com/research/downloads/ - Microsoft Giano.

    ==============================================================

    Giano is a dual-headed hardware simulator, it includes both CPU and HDL simulators.  The CPU simulations provided are ARM, MIPS and PowerPC, the HDL simulator is Verilog.  Giano faithfully simulates a complete Atmel EB63 evaluation board with an attached FPGA.  Additionally, Giano simulates a display and a sound device that do not actually exist on the EB63 board.  Giano is portable and extensible, it is easy to add CPUs and I/O modules to it.  The HDL simulators currently supported are ModelSim and Icarus Verilog.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    So you don’t think you can Sing?

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    Now you can have your own musical accompaniment to match your voice without having to worry about artistic differences.  I’ll have to play with Songsmith and see if can help even my voice sound decent :-)  But you won’t see me posting the songs or videos online.

    Just think – you can add a musical soundtrack to your everyday tasks…doing the dishes, walking the dog, or the one I like – kids saying singing “Science is Cool”….neat to see this product coming out of Microsoft Research.

    songsmith

    What is Songsmith?
    Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos.
    Where can I get it?
    A free trial download is available on our download page.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In

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    Just ran across this Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In from MSR - great way to scrape data from a web page - you can easily bring the data into Excel without much effort and then save the excel spreadsheet and refresh the data when you need it.   

    The Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In makes it easy to use a Web page as a data source in Excel. The add-in plugs into Excel 2007 seamlessly, its entry point located on the Data Tab under the From Web option. The system extracts data by learning from a user’s selection of data they wish to capture into Excel. The more selections, the more the system is trained. An example scenario: You wish to import and track data from MSN's weather page. Visit the site using the tool, enter Data Capture mode, and select a row or two of data from the table. Then click Select Similar, and the system will find similar data based on your previous selections. You then can click Import and leverage Excel's rich data-editing capabilities, including the Refresh command, which will revisit the Web page and extract potentially new, updated data.

    Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Shibboleth and ADFS Interoperability – this is now a reality!

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    Glad to see this use fo the Shibboleth ADFS Integration: An extension allowing a Shibboleth 1.3 IdP to integrate with Microsoft's Active Directory Federation Service. 

    Shibboleth and ADFS Interoperability – this is now a reality!

    Last week, the efforts of Microsoft, the JISC, London School of Economics, Neath Port Talbot and Oxford Computer Group delivered proof of the interoperability between Shibboleth and Microsoft's ADFS. Of course, this has been theorietically possible for nearly a year now but it doesn't seem that anyone has actually proved it. So, I'm really pleased to see that this breakthrough occurred through the collaboration of these different organisations in the UK to demonstrate the potential that ADFS can offer to those many customers in education wishing to have interoperability with Shibboleth.

    During the Proof of Concept we were able to demonstrate the following:

    1. An ADFS FS-A talking to a Shibboleth SP
    2. A Shibboleth IdP talking to an ADFS FS-R
    3. The ability to send a "privacy-enhanced" UPN (hash@adatum.com) into the TargetedID attribute.
    4. The ability to manipulate other attributes/claims as we need to – although we haven't necessarily gone as far with this as we could

    Source: Dominic : Shibboleth and ADFS Interoperability – this is now a reality!

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Your PCs forecast climate future

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    It's great to see the climateprediction.net folks getting fantastic uptake on the community computation simulation - over 250,000 users...as a sponsor of the effort, it's great to see those idle cycles going to good use.

    Your PCs forecast climate future

    Climateprediction.net uses the power of thousands of ordinary PCs

    A computer model of climate run on home PCs in conjunction with the BBC has yielded its first results.

    About 250,000 people downloaded software from climateprediction.net onto their home computers, each running a single simulation of the future.

    The results suggest the UK could be about 3C warmer than now in 75 years' time, agreeing with other models.

    Full details will be revealed at the weekend in a BBC TV programme presented by Sir David Attenborough.

    Source: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Your PCs forecast climate future

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Digipede Ships Grid Computing Software for Microsoft Windows

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    Digipede shipped their distributed/grid computing solution for Windows and .NET. 

    The Digipede Network is the first commercial grid computing solution based entirely on the Microsoft .NET platform and is easier to buy, install, learn and use than other grid computing solutions. While competing offerings require expensive consultants and complex scripting, the Digipede Network is an easy-to-use, affordable solution that requires no custom configuration or on-site implementation help. Customers can be up and running in an hour.

    It’s great to see a commercial product out to help companies with Grid functionality (cycle stealing, etc) – since most of the solutions supporting .NET I’ve been aware of have been from the academic community – G2, W.ND Blast, Bayanihan, & CondorIt would be great to hear experiences in using it…

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    SQL Server Starter Data Schema

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     Very cool - it would be great to see some scientific reserach schemas added to the list...

    SQL Server 2005 Express Data Schemas

    Deploying SQL Server Express in real-world environments

    This data schema series is designed for new database administrators and enthusiasts to quickly get started learning the basics of managing and administering SQL Server 2005 Express Edition in real-world environments. These fully-functional starter data schemas cover a wide-range of scenarios that are designed to help you quickly and easily deploy SQL Server 2005 Express Edition within your organization.

    Source: Starter Data Schema

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    SQL Server Data Mining Newsletter

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    Here's a couple of interesting items from the SQL Server Data Mining newsletter

    Plug Into SQL Server Data Mining

    SQL Server 2005 Data Mining has an extensible framework that allows independent software developers to easily integrate new data mining algorithms and viewers into the product. The product team has provided in-depth technical articles, tutorials as well as sample source code for building "plug-in" algorithms and viewers. What was missing was a high-level overview of the technology that explains the benefits and overall architecture. We bring you a sneak preview of an upcoming MSDN article by Raman Iyer called "Plugging Into SQL Server Data Mining" that fills this gap.

    PDC Presentation On Smart Client Applications Available Online

    Jamie MacLennan and Brian Welcker from the SQL Server team presented a talk on building smart applications like an intelligent call center using SQL Server 2005 Data Mining and Reporting Services at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference held in LA in September. You can view the PowerPoint presentation here.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Windows HPC Server 2008 - 1 day training

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    Here's a good opportunity to get the latest information on the next version of the Windows Compute Cluster - now named Windows HPC Server 2008.  If you're wondering why Windows HPC Server 2008 is a hot topic - take a look at the performance increases they've made and the technical overview.

    HPC PAL

    Microsoft invites you to participate in our HPCPAL Jumpstart technical training series for IT Pro's and Developers. This one day immersion style event will help you get the technical information you require to start deploying and developing HPC solutions leveraging Windows HPC Server 2008.

    You will experience how Windows HPC Server 2008 platform is simple to deploy, operate, and integrate with existing infrastructure and tools.

    1-Day Jumpstart

    • SPONSORS: Discuss clustered computing solution scenarios with Microsoft HPC technology specialists.
    • ROADMAP: Review the HPC platform technology roadmap for Windows HPC.
    • LEARN ABOUT: Microsoft Compute Cluster Pack v2 features and capabilities
    • EXPERIENCE: The significant advancements coming in the area of cluster management, scalability and performance
    • EXPLORE: HPC Development tools and techniques
    • SOLUTIONS: Identify integrated solution scenarios leveraging Windows platform technologies.
    • LEAVE WITH: Tools to equip your team to develop and deploy HPC solutions.

    Check out at the dates at the HPC site

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Swearing-in Ceremony on the Web

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    It will be great to be able to watch the swearing-in ceremony from any computer on the internet.  That combine with CNN/Photosynth capturing The Moment of the oath should be pretty amazing – can’t wait to see that synth…

    How it Will Work

    We’ll take your photos from every angle, combine them with CNN’s professional shots, and produce what we hope will be an amazing experience that will be shown live on CNN. And you thought the Jessica Yellin hologram was cool! The synth will also be available for everyone to see on CNN.com.

    If you have a…

    Camera Phone. Take one photo of the moment when the President Elect raises his hand to take the Oath, and email it as soon as you can to cnnmoment@live.com. Don’t worry if he’s too small to see clearly in your photo. As long as you get the Capitol building in your shot it will synth in and help reconstruct the environment.

    Digital Camera. Take three photos (wide-angle, mid-zoom, full-zoom) of the President Elect while he is being sworn in. As soon as you can get to an Internet connection, email them to us at cnnmoment@live.com. Make sure your email message is less than 10MB in size. Break it into a couple of messages if your three photos combine to more than 10MB.

    Watch the Swearing-in Ceremony on the Web

    Don’t miss it when Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office next Tuesday, January 20th. As part of our commitment to making this the most open inauguration in history, we’ll be streaming the swearing-in ceremony on our site using Microsoft’s Silverlight.

    You can view high quality Silverlight streams, in full screen, and enjoy related inaugural video content.

    As long as you have an Internet connection, you’ll be able to watch the ceremony as if you were there. Visit www.pic2009.org on Tuesday, January 20th to watch the swearing-in live.

    The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30 a.m. ET on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Take a look at the rest of the scheduled events for Inaugural Weekend.

    Watch the Swearing-in Ceremony on the Web | The Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    MSR eScience Workshop - Call for Presentations

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    The Microsoft Research eScience Workshop will be held Oct 6&7, 2005 in Redmond, WA. 

    Call for Presentations

    We are soliciting presentations for the Microsoft Research eScience Workshop 2005. We are looking for contributions in the following areas:

    • Web service–based applications
    • Analysis and datamining
    • Smart clients
    • Scientific results using Web service–based applications
    • Cyberinfrastructure applications

    The expected length of each presentation will be 30 minutes. If you would like to present, please provide the following information:

    • Title of presentation
    • Abstract (300 words)
    • Contact information
    • Short biography (150 words or less)
    • Audio/visual/connectivity requirements

    The deadline for submission of the Call for Presentations is August 26, 2005. Please send your information or questions to escience@microsoft.com. All applicants will be notified of acceptance of their presentation by September 2, 2005.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Manycore and Multicore Workshop: Architectures, Applications And Directions

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    The Manycore and Multicore Workshop has a really good line-up of speakers - should be a good 1 1/2 days...

    • John Manferdelli, Microsoft Corporation - Supercomputing and Mass Market Desktops
    • Chuck Moore, AMD Corporation - The Role of Accelerated Computing in the Multi-core Era
    • Jack Dongarra, Univ. of Tennessee - An Overview of High Performance Computing and Challenges for the Future
    • Charles Leiserson, MIT - Multithreaded Programming in Cilk
    • Dan Reed, RENCI/UNC Chapel Hill - Multicore: Let’s Not Focus on the Present
    • Dave Kirk, NVIDIA Corporation - NVIDIA CUDA Software and GPU Parallel Computing Architecture
    • Panel on Manycore/Multicore's Programmability Gap
    • Vivek Sarkar, Rice University - Portable Parallel Programming for Heterogeneous Multicore Computing
    • Dave Patterson, UC Berkeley - The Parallel Computing Landscape: A Berkeley View 2.0
    • Stephen Pawlowski, Intel Corporation - Supercomputing for the Masses

    Manycore and Multicore Workshop: Architectures, Applications And Directions

    Sponsored by Microsoft Corporation

    Workshop dates: Sunday, November 11 - Monday, November 12, 2007
    Location: SC07 Conference, Reno, Nevada
    More information can be found at http://sc07.supercomputing.org/

    The era of "Supercomputing applications are what supercomputing does best," which is generally associated with heavyweight, numerically-intensive science computation, is rapidly converging with real-time and consumer applications such as computer gaming and multimedia. These new application genres are achieving a level of sophistication that makes them almost indistinguishable from supercomputing applications, and, consequently, are driving the recent developments in processor architectures. Most of the emphasis over the last few years has been on multi-core architectures, which are used as CPUs (e.g. quad-cores) in the current desktop and laptop systems and also used to develop supercomputing clusters.

    Manycore and Multicore Workshop (UNC-CH Computer Science)

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Windows Bioinformatics Applications Server - Cornell Theory Center

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    Cornell Theory Center hosts a list of bio related software programs that run on Windows and code is available via Visual Studio .NET 2003. 

    http://www.tc.cornell.edu/wba

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    InfoMesa Project – Whiteboard for your data

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    One of neatest apps I’ve see lately is InfoMesa – a project by Sam Batterman – the example is InfoMesa allows any kind of data or visualization to be added to the Whiteboard. 

    The folks at RENCI are using it in their Social Computing Room (SCR) w/ a 360 degree desktop. 

    You can download the implementation and code and test it out.

    Download

    What is it?

    InfoMesa is a project to allow scientists to do more science and more discovery in a collaborative and data-rich environment. The metaphor that we have elected to use as the underlying fabric of the InfoMesa is a Whiteboard.

    InfoMesa allows any kind of data or visualization to be added to the Whiteboard. Far from static, these tools are interactive, allowing data to be absorbed from data sources like Oracle, SQL Server, Excel Spreadsheets, XML or even Cloud-based web services. InfoMesa, when complete will support imagery, video, 2D connected models, 3D models (lit in a photo realistically manner), web searches, results from web service calls, Image Tile Maps, ScatterPlots, Sticky Notes, Ink Notes, Rich Annotations and Associations.

    An Example of a typical InfoMesa Whiteboard is shown here:

    main

    Welcome to the InfoMesa Project - Official Launch - Windows Live

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    International Symposium on Web Services for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

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    The presentations given at the International Symposium on Web Services for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics – at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech on May 25-27, 2005 have been posted.  The event was quite well run and the presentations very interesting – It’s especially interesting to see how specific scientific domains are looking to utilize web services infrastructure and what pieces are still needed.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Project Tuva: Richard Feynman is now available to all.

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    Project Tuva's Feynman Lectures: Gates' gift to lifelong learning

    Project Tuva, an enhanced video player showcasing Richard Feynman’s “Messenger” lectures is available for all to try out.  It’s the way I’d like to view talks and related information – check it out.  Not only does it allow for web links, images, but it also integrates with the WorldWide Telescope control to help augment the example Feynman uses in the gravitational talk.  Currently only the first lecture in the series “Law of Gravitation – an Example of Physical Law” utilizes all the annotations/links, but the do all have the transcripts, so you can search on something like “particles” and see where it is mentioned in all the different videos, and then jump directly to the location.

    Microsoft Research and Bill Gates Bring Historic Physics Lectures to Web

    Lecture series by celebrated physics professor Richard Feynman is now available to all.

    REDMOND, Wash. — July 14, 2009 — Microsoft Research, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, today launched a Web site that makes an acclaimed lecture series by the iconic physicist Richard Feynman freely available to the general public for the first time. The lectures, which Feynman originally delivered at Cornell University in 1964, have been hugely influential for many people, including Gates. Gates privately purchased the rights to the seven lectures in the series, called “The Character of Physical Law,” to make them widely available to the public for free with the hope that they will help get kids excited about physics and science.

    The historic lectures and related content can be seen at http://research.microsoft.com/tuva. The name “Tuva” was chosen because of Feynman’s lifelong fascination with the small Russian republic of Tuva, located in the heart of Asia.

    Feynman was one of the most popular scientists of the 20th century, equally regarded for his scientific insights as well as his ability to convey his enthusiasm for science through his lectures and writings. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 and was also known for his quirky sense of humor and eccentric and wide-ranging interests.

    “No one was more adept at making science fun and interesting than Richard Feynman,” said Gates. “More than 20 years after first seeing them, these are still some of the best science lectures I’ve heard. Feynman worked hard during his life to popularize science, so I’m sure he’d be thrilled that now anyone, anywhere in the world, can just click a button and experience his lectures.”

    Curtis Wong, a principal researcher with Microsoft Research, enhanced the experience of viewing the lectures by integrating the historic video with a Microsoft Silverlight-based video player that allows viewers to search the lectures for references to particular subjects, take notes that are synchronized to the video, and click on hyperlinks to related Web content, among other customized operations.

    “There is a lot of public interest in building innovative educational resources online,” Wong said. “This is an opportunity to take some existing educational content and utilize software and the wealth of resources available on the Web to create a richer learning experience. And because people can annotate the lectures with their own comments and links to related resources, I expect this experience to become richer and richer over time.”

    Microsoft Research has been exploring video annotation for many years and chose to publish the Feynman “Messenger” lectures with a new enhanced video player. Neither Microsoft nor the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were involved in the acquisition of the rights to the lectures.

    Microsoft Research and Bill Gates Bring Historic Physics Lectures to Web: Lecture series by celebrated physics professor Richard Feynman is now available to all.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    SciFlow 2006 - IEEE Workshop on Workflow and Data Flow for Scientific Applications

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    Just saw this call for papers for SciFlow 2006 - IEEE Workshop on Workflow and Data Flow for Scientific Applications in Atlanta - April 8, 2006 - looks really good...

    Workshop scope
    --------------
    Today computational scientists across all disciplines create ever increasing amounts of often highly complex data. Generated raw and derived data may come from wet lab experiments, large-scale data-intensive and compute-intensive simulations, or real-time observations e.g. from remote sensors. Technical challenges include not only managing the volume of data, but also the complexity of managing computations distributed over the grid. In order to support scientists in their data management and analysis tasks, scientific workflows have recently gained increased interest and momentum as a unifying mechanism for handling scientific data. Scientific workflows pose a unique set of challenges due to the special nature of
    scientific data and the specific needs for large-scale data collection, querying and analysis. The goal of this workshop is to foster a community of researchers advancing the various technical aspects of scientific computing and workflow management over grids. We invite contributions from researchers addressing diverse aspects of  this emerging area. The workshop will include regular and short research papers and demonstrations. Position papers are also encouraged to attract discussions on work in progress.

    Topics of interest
    ------------------
    We invite regular and short papers as well as demonstrations (accompanied by descriptive papers) and position papers on relevant topics, including but not limited to:
        * Data management challenges in scientific workflow systems
        * Scheduling, resource allocation, and planning for scientific workflow systems
        * Distributed and Grid-based scientific workflow systems
        * Data-intensive, compute-intensive, metadata-intensive scientific applications
        * Highly interactive scientific workflow systems
        * Problem-solving environments for scientific workflow systems
        * Data and workflow provenance in scientific workflow systems
        * Query processing over scientific streams
        * Data mining scientific streams
        * Caching of scientific datasets and streams
        * Semantics in scientific grids
        * Interactive and real time management of scientific data
        * Archiving science grid data
        * Information discovery in science grids
        * Case studies of science data grids
        * Data, Event, and Activity Modelling for eScience

    Important Dates
    ---------------
    Dec 15, 2005    Submissions due
    Jan 5, 2006     Acceptance notification
    Feb 15, 2006    Camera-ready papers due

    Organization
    ------------
    Program co-chairs
       Roger Barga (Microsoft Research)
       Brian F. Cooper (Georgia Tech)

    Program committee
       Ian Foster (ANL/U. Chicago)
       Mike Franklin (Berkeley)
       Jim Frew (UCSB)
       Reagan Moore (SDSC)
       Kian-Lee Tan (NU Singapore)
       Marvin Theimer (Microsoft)

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    A “Search Taste Test” – do you really know the difference?

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    imageMichael Kordahi created a way to see how Bing search results compare to the other big search players - it gives you 3 columns of results and you can vote which one has the best results.  If you’re using IE you can also add BlindSearch as a IE search provider.

     

    The “Search Taste Test” – do you really know the difference?Bing Logo

    So there is plenty of talk about Google being the best search engine out there, but with some pretty amazing improvements recently made to Live Search, and now particularly the launch of Bing, our new “decision” engine, it’s really time to see if Google really is the best – for you personally. One fun way of doing this is to use this fun little utility that Michael Kordahi wrote (a teammate of mine) called Blind Search.

    Basically, you head over to http://blindsearch.fejus.com, enter your search term, and click the search button. The tool goes off and searches for your terms at Google, Bing and Yahoo. You get the three sets of results back – all formatted anonymously so you don’t know which column of results was returned by which search engine. Then you can either “vote” for the search engine that gives you the best, most appropriate results for you personally, or you can simply click on one of the results themselves and head off on your way like you would if you were using the actual search engine.

    One really cool thing is that if you’ve been using Google and want to try out Bing, but aren’t quite ready to make the switch (personally I now use Bing as my favoured search provider but hey, you never know), you can actually use Blind Search as your default search provider.

    The odd ramblings of a geek pretending to not be "all grown up" : The “Search Taste Test” – do you really know the difference?

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    SDSC Introduces the Collaboration Notebook for Community Technical Review

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    San Diego Supercomputer Center has made available their Community Technology Preview for the Collaboration Notebook – which is a Smart Client application to allow scientists to interact and track networked data services.  The Collaboration Notebook is essentially is a framework to allow domain scientists to create interfaces and expose their datasets – it is built using .NET Framework 2.0 & SQL Server 2005 and uses ClickOnce for installation.

    The project was supported via the MSR ER&P eScience Program.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Deep Photo at MS Pro Photo Summit

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    Really neat demo by Michael Cohen (MSR) of Deep Photo at the Pro Photo Summit – uses Virtual Earth and the 3D geometric information to create haze models and clear up images…wish I had that for many of my photos.

    Video: Virtual Earth Demo at Microsoft Pro Photo Summit

    [Thanks – LiveSide]

    Also check out the more in depth MSR lecture by Johannes Kopf.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    MSR Tech Reports of interest

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    Interesting Tech Reports from Microsoft Research

    MSR-TR-2005-129 - Service Oriented Database Architecture: App Server-Lite?
    David Campbell
    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?tr_id=983
    As the capabilities and service levels of enterprise database systems have evolved, they have collided with incumbent technologies such as TP-Monitors or Message Oriented Middleware (MOM). We believe this trend will continue and have architected the upcoming release of SQL Server to advance this technology trend. This paper describes the Service Oriented Database Architecture (SODA) developed for the Microsoft SQL Server DBMS. First, it motivates the need for building Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) features directly into a database engine. Second, it describes a set of features in SQL Server that have been designed for SOA use. Finally, it concludes with some thoughts on how SODA can enable multiple service deployment topologies.

    MSR-TR-2005-127 - Leveraging Information Across HLA Alleles/Supertypes Improves HLA-Specific Epitope Prediction
    David Heckerman; Carl Kadie; Jennifer Listgarten
    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?tr_id=981
    We present a model for predicting HLA-specific CTL epitopes. In contrast to almost all other work in this area, we train a single model on epitopes from all HLA alleles and supertypes, yet retain the ability to make epitope predictions for specific HLA alleles. We are therefore able to leverage data across all HLA alleles and/or their supertypes, automatically learning what information should be shared and also how to combine allele-specific, supertype-specific, and global information in a principled way. We show that this leveraging can improve prediction of epitopes having HLA alleles with known supertypes, and dramatically increases our ability to predict epitopes having alleles which do not fall into any of the known supertypes. Our model, which is based on logistic regression, is simple to implement and understand, is solved by finding a single global maximum, yet performs on par with (to our knowledge) the best published results.

    MSR-TR-2005-123 - Indexing the Sphere with the Hierarchical Triangular Mesh
    Alex Szalay; Jim Gray; Gyorgy Fekete; Peter Kunszt; Peter Kukol; Ani Thakar
    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?tr_id=977
    We describe a method to subdivide the surface of a sphere into spherical triangles of similar, but not identical, shapes and sizes. The Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM) is a quad-tree that is particularly good at supporting searches at different resolutions, from arc seconds to hemispheres. The subdivision scheme is universal, providing the basis for addressing and for fast lookups. The HTM provides the basis for an efficient geospatial indexing scheme in relational databases where the data have an inherent location on either the celestial sphere or the Earth. The HTM index is superior to cartographical methods using coordinates with singularities at the poles. We also describe a way to specify surface regions that efficiently represent spherical query areas. This article presents the algorithms used to identify the HTM triangles covering such regions

    MSR-TR-2005-122 - Using Table Valued Functions in SQL Server 2005 To Implement a Spatial Data Library
    Jim Gray; Alex Szalay; Gyorgy Fekete
    http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?tr_id=976
    This article explains how to add spatial search functions (point-near-point and point in polygon) to Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 using C# and table-valued functions. It is possible to use this library to add spatial search to your application without writing any special code. The library implements the public-domain C# Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM) algorithms from Johns Hopkins University. That C# library is connected to SQL Server 2005 via a set of scalar-valued and table-valued functions. These functions act as a spatial index.

  • Dan on eScience & Technical Computing @ Microsoft

    Bing’s Best Images as desktop background

    • 0 Comments

    I do look forward to seeing the daily image Bing has as background on the search page – and was really excited to see “Bing’s Best” as a Win7 theme, I’ve been enjoying some great photos rotating on my desktop…

    [Update] You can also add this functionality to WindowsXP

    Wallpaper Rotator, from Microsoft's CodePlex, allows to dynamically change the desktop background (similar to Windows 7). 
    (Thanks to Blake from The Road to Know Where)

    Personalization Gallery - Windows 7 themes, wallpapers, and gadgets - Microsoft Windows

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